One of our readers, a retired GP, once told us that he’d read once that, on average, it takes 17 years for medical breakthroughs to become common medical practice!!!. In other words, as we understand it, we can be seeing a doctor today about a medical problem in relation to which there was a medical breakthrough some 15 years ago which could help us, perhaps even save our lives, and the doctor we’re seeing won’t even know about it, let alone be able to apply it to our situation. To us, if this is in any sense true, it’s a quite incredible scandal. But what to us is a much bigger scandal again is that nothing seems to be being done about it, especially when so much COULD be done about it with modern technology.
One of the things we’ve learnt the hard way, is that, at least in Sydney, Australia, GPs don’t necessarily know who are the best Specialists to refer their patients to.
One of our readers reports that a GP he’d been using for 5 or 6 years and thought was quite good, referred him to a Specialist who turned out to be unbelievably bad, who did him far more harm than good, when even the most basic research by the GP would have indicated what he was like. (And, by the way, the GP subsequently organised for one of his henchmen to ring our reader and make all sort of threats against him for complaining.)
As a result of this experience, our reader decided to do his own research in the future. When another GP advised him that something that had turned up in the results of a test done on him was a “life and death matter,” and gave him the name of 2 Specialists he could refer him to, he sent emails to the 2 specialists along the lines of – “I am experiencing such and such a problem. Is helping people with this problem within your areas of expertise? If not is there anyone else you could recommend?” One of them came back saying it WASN’T within her areas of expertise, and the other responded by saying it WASN’T a life and death matter, and not to worry about it.
Readers, it seems to us to be utter madness if you, yourself, don’t send emails like this to Specialists your GP says he could refer you to, if you don’t try to ensure that you are only seeing Specialists who, at the very least claim in writing that helping people with your problem or problems IS within their areas of expertise. AND that if your GP refers you to any Specialists who say that helping people with your problem or problems is NOT within their areas of expertise, you almost certainly need a new GP.
This, of course, is only VERY VERY basic stuff – there’s much more to this subject.
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